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JOAN JETT: Why THE RUNAWAYS Broke Up

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Saturday, 05 January 2019
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During a recent appearance on METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich's "It's Electric!" online radio show on Apple Music's Beats 1, Joan Jett spoke about the breakup of iconic rockers THE RUNAWAYS. The first true girl band of the 1970s, the band — which also featured Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Jackie Fox and Sandy West — toured internationally and made a dent in the charts before calling it quits at the end of that decade. "I think really after Cherie left, after Japan, we made another what I thought was a really good album called 'Waitin' For The Night'," Joan recalled. "I just think it was a natural progression. I think as we each grew up and were figuring out more who we were as musicians, and really the kind of music we wanted to play, it started to diverge a little bit." She continued: "I was definitely more a straight-up punk rock, rock and roll thing. But you know, I'm fine with hard music. It's just that I think Lita and Sandy wanted to go in that direction much more than I did. And the producer we were working with at the time, his name was John Alcock. I forget what his credits are, but he had worked with some hard bands, some heavy bands, I believe. And I think he was sort of perpetuating it, egging it on a little bit. But I don't know that." Joan added: "I just thought, 'I've got a bad feeling. I don't wanna get fired from a band that I started.' We made one more album, called 'And Now... The Runaways'. But we just decided to sort of part ways. I'm sure none of us wanted to... We all got along fine, so there wasn't anything like that. It was not a personality thing. We just grew in different directions. I just thought, 'I don't wanna get fired from a band I started. Let's just part ways.' We had one last show, New Year's Eve '78 into '79. It was in California. Either San Francisco or L.A. I think we had decided that was going to be it. But I'm not positive about that. If we didn't, energetically we all knew that was it." Tune in to Beats 1 to hear Ulrich's full conversation with Jett this Sunday, January 6 at 7:00 p.m. EST / 4:00 p.m. PST. Back in November, Ford told the Daily Mail that a reunion of THE RUNAWAYS will probably never happen. She explained: "Joan Jett is very much in 'Joan Jett land,' I guess you could say. Will she ever come out of Joan Jett land? I don't think so. I think her [longtime] manager [Kenny Laguna] controls that and it's really up to him and her. It seems to me like Joan Jett's manager just runs her life in every way, shape, or form. He's very controlling and he has a real problem with me. He has a real issue with me. He sees me as a threat, which is ridiculous, because she's like my sister and I love Joan. It's ridiculous, it's uncalled for, and it's caused a little bit of rivalry between her and I, which is totally uncalled for. It's his fault." Ford claimed that Jett's manager has prevented her from even talking about a RUNAWAYS reunion with Jett. "The hard part is just trying to communicate with Joan without her manager involved," she added. "We had dinner a couple of years ago, what was supposed to be a girl's night out, and she brought her manager with her. "So it's like, "Dude, answer the question. I'm trying to ask you a question. Are you interested in putting THE RUNAWAYS back together?' She never answered the question." Currie told the "White Line Fever" podcast in 2016 that RUNAWAYS came close to reunining more than two decades ago. "Lita had reached out to us to convince us, me and Joan, to do a RUNAWAYS reunion. And we did, with Kenny Laguna basically at the helm, he secured a tour and Lita, she just basically doesn't get along with Kenny and she just walked away from that." In a 2015 interview with with the WHMH (Rockin' 101) radio station, Lita explained that she decided against a possible RUNAWAYS reunion in the early '90s because "NIRVANA was just kicking in, and it was really bad timing; it wouldn't have worked. People would have just turned their nose up at it." A movie about THE RUNAWAYS' brief history, starring Dakota Fanning as Currie and Kristin Stewart as Jett, came out in 2010.

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